2011 Invasive Weed Program a go

After a successful 2010 Invasive Weed campaign, the Town of Golden is partnering up with Wildsight for act two. Council has authorized a sum of $6,500 to be utilized by Wildsight in order to continue the invasive weed pulling, mapping, and educating of the public. The majority of the funds will be going towards the hiring of a staff member to follow through with the 10-week program, which is to commence in June; the cost to the town will be shared between dyke, pathway and boulevard maintenance operational accounts.

“I think it’s a great program for Golden. It is a really valuable initiative, that not only benefits the ecosystem, but also the town’s residents,” Columbia Headwaters Program Manager, Rachel Darvill explained.

“The campaign was a huge success last year; it is a fabulous program for Golden to be involved in again this year,” Chief Administration Officer for the Town of Golden, David Allen said, agreeing with Darvill.

In 2010, 22 residential properties in town were inspected for invasive plants species. Homeowners were provided with information relating to invasive plant species discovered on their property, and information relating to municipal water conservation efforts. On public property, within the municipal boundaries, approximately 510 bags of invasive weeds were pulled and disposed of; the bags were taken to the local landfill and buried.

Last year’s program ran for 8-weeks, but with the extra two weeks in this year’s program, much more of the same type of work is anticipated, including: help for local residents to identify invasive plant species in their own yards, including guidance for non-toxic methods of removal and recommended suitable plant replacements; provision of information to local residents on water conservation best practices and municipal sprinkling regulations; cataloguing, mapping and removal of invasive plant species on public lands; data entry into the Provincial Invasive Alien Plant Program (IAPP) data-base; promotion of program through media sources within the Columbia Valley.

“The extra two weeks this year will allow for us to not only get out to more places in the community, but it will also allow for more time for us to educate the community on the issue,” Darvill said.

The program will not only help clean up the environment in and around Golden, but through education, the public will be equipped with the knowledge to keep up with the invasive weed problem on their own for the many years to come.